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Could be a long night in NYC…

The city Board of Elections sent over this memo to all of the media outlets at 8:16 p.m. – 45 minutes before the polls were scheduled to close. Read the memo in full below:

The Board of Elections in the City of New York advises all City media outlets that the unofficial election results for today’s General Election may not be available as quickly as in previous elections. This is due to new State rules that define how poll sites must be closed and election results reported.

The new voting system requires several additional steps to accurately and securely tabulate results at the poll sites on Election night. After every voter who was in line prior to 9pm has voted, bi-partisan teams of poll workers will close poll sites in the following manner:

• The scanners are locked and voting information on each scanner is transferred to a portable memory device. Two copies of the results tape from the scanners are printed out, showing all the votes cast. One copy is posted for use by authorized poll watchers. The other copy is given to the bipartisan team of poll workers who then prepare the return of canvass, in that election district.

• Return of canvass sheets are then given to an NYPD official at the poll site who transport them directly to the police precinct and enter the preliminary unofficial results into their computer system for transmission to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the poll workers assemble all other materials and turn them over to the NYPD.

• NYPD officers then secure and transport these materials, including locked ballot liner cases and unused ballots, police envelopes containing ballots cast by affidavit, voided ballots and emergency ballots to Board of Elections facilities in each borough.

• There is a strict chain of custody for all materials, and NYPD officers assigned to transport them sign for delivery of all items.

As required by state law, the election results cannot be certified until the Board successfully completes the required random audits of at least three percent of the scanners in each borough. The audit includes a hand count of the ballots in a scanner bin and comparing the hand count to the results reported on the election night scanner tape. This ensures that each scanner audited is accurately reading and reporting the votes cast. In addition, the portable memory devices are read into the Board’s Election Management System and preliminary election night results are checked for accuracy against the portable memory device and the scanner tapes if needed.

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